A funny thing about “being” a writer is that you are able to constantly reaffirm your status merely by writing. I am also a lawyer, which requires a higher standard of proof. In law, reaffirming your status mostly involves giving the state bar association money every couple of years… And also dropping $500 on Continuing Legal Education when you realize that your CLE credits are due in one month and you haven’t taken adequate advantage of the free credits that are occasionally available.

Being an academic is similar to being a lawyer, but much harder to quantify. There is no annual membership renewal, unless you count the application fees for AALS if you’re chronically on the market (*raises hand*). There is a high barrier to entry, especially for those of us who chose law schools based on scholarship offers instead of placement.

This space is intended to be a way for me to learn how to take up more space. I hate attention. I have always hated attention. One day, I’ll scan some of my earliest examples of this in a fit of exhibitionist irony. The main reason I am able to reveal any personal thoughts here is that I am going to continue to operate on the assumption that no one will read anything I write.

There is a Little Golden Book at my parents’ house that is about a little girl who lives on a farm. At some point, my parents decided to paint white out over the girl’s name and write my name instead. The character’s name was probably Karen or Sue or something, but now and forever more, she is Carol to me, her name written in ballpoint over bumpy white out. It made me uncomfortable. I didn’t like having this story character named after me.

I never told them how I felt about it though, which of course came back to bite me later.

I think it was for my eighth birthday that my parents bought me an official customized storybook. The main character was a girl named Carol with brown hair. Carol liked dogs and the circus. I don’t think I’d ever been to the circus by that point in my life, but that was the story they bought. It’s a cute idea. And I hated it. It made me so uncomfortable, and I never told them. Still haven’t, so *waves* Hi Mom!

There are probably a lot of reasons for this. Childhood medical trauma is at the top of my list of suspects for why I hate attention. The main marker for PTSD that I’m missing is that I don’t have any pre-trauma memories to compare anything to. Every year, I went to Children’s Hospital for painful tests. When your earliest memories of it being your turn for something involve needles and catheters, you quickly stop wanting it to ever be your turn. I hated Januaries, because one of those days, I was going to be taken out of school early, and then my mom would drive me to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

So I’m blogging mostly because I hate attention and I should probably get over that. I turned out to be really good at school, and I didn’t really mind that attention… Eventually. According to my parents, I came home from school bawling my eyes out one day when I was six years old. The teacher had announced to everyone that we’d be taking a standardized test soon. I was understandably upset, since the word “test” to me was medical. Between sobs, I managed to explain to my parents that I didn’t want anyone sticking more needles up my butt. Technically it was a cystogram, so it was a catheter instead of a needle and my urethra instead of my butt… But I think a six year old can be forgiven for conflating those things.

I’ve always been pretty good with words, so I may as well use it and create something. Things that I will write about will probably get drawn from a couple of lists.

Some things that are meaningful to me:

  • Childhood trauma
  • Cancer
  • LGBTQ+ issues
  • Dogs
  • Musical theater

Some things that I know:

  • Privacy Law
  • Internet Law and Policy
  • Writing
  • Empathy

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

WarGames (1983)

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